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Fun Ideas with Holiday Seasonal Flavors

With simple tips from the McCormick Kitchens on enjoying the season’s top seven flavors – pumpkin spice, ginger, vanilla, peppermint, sage, cinnamon and nutmeg – everything from breakfast to dessert can have the best holiday taste.

“There’s really no reason to wait for a special occasion to savor the ‘Seasonal Seven’ flavors,” said Chef Kevan Vetter of the McCormick Kitchens. “For example, when I wake up in the morning, I like adding pumpkin pie spice to my coffee so I can start my day with that extra-special holiday flavor. To make Sunday dinners a little more festive, I’ll add sage to my creamy potato gratin.”

Seasonal Seven Flavors for Moments Big and Small
Think of every meal as an opportunity to include holiday tastes:

Visit www.McCormick.comwww.Facebook.com/McCormickSpiceand www.Pinterest.com/mccormickspices for simple ideas that will inspire you to make sure each moment is filled with seasonal flavor. Look for McCormick Spices in the spice aisle of supermarkets and mass merchandisers nationwide.

McCormick Announces Top Flavors and Food Trends for 2014 and Beyond

Marking its 125th year as a food industry innovator, McCormick & Company, Incorporated kicked off a yearlong celebration of the tastes that bring us together with the unveiling of its McCormick® Flavor Forecast® 2014: 125th Anniversary Edition.

The report, developed annually by McCormick experts around the world, highlights five top food trends and more than a dozen emerging flavors predicted to impact the way we eat in the coming years. First launched in 2000, this anniversary edition explores how today’s unparalleled connectivity is driving faster-than-ever adoption of new trends and tastes around the globe.

One such trend is the growing obsession with chilies. “Everywhere we looked, people have a growing fascination with the delicious range of flavors and heat chile peppers deliver,” said McCormick Executive Chef Kevan Vetter. “In the U.S., cooks are embracing exciting new varieties like the aji amarillo from Peru, which is prized for its sizzling heat and surprisingly full-bodied, fruity notes.”

These emerging trends and flavors highlighted in the McCormick Flavor Forecast 2014 offer a taste of what’s next on the global menu:

Five Top Trends

Chilies Obsession: Food lovers everywhere are seeking out their next big chile thrill.
Modern Masala: Indian food is finally having its moment, breaking free of its traditional confines with modern interpretations.
Clever Compact Cooking: Proving that big flavors can come from small spaces, cooks in urban kitchens are making the most of what’s available.
Mexican World Tour: Mexican flavors are making their way around the globe, with people everywhere discovering new aspects of this bright, casual cuisine.
Charmed by Brazil: The world’s attraction to Brazilian cuisine is heating up, thanks to its seductive mix of global and native influences.

Five Top Flavors

Aji Amarillo: A hot Peruvian yellow chile with bold, fruity flavor.
Kashmiri Masala: An often homemade blend of spices from northern India featuring cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves and ginger.
Tea: Not just for sipping anymore, this natural ingredient is making its way into rubs, broths and marinades.
Chamoy Sauce: A unique Mexican condiment—made from apricot, lime, chilies and spices—just beginning to gain a following in the U.S.
Cassava Flour: Also known as manioc or tapioca flour, this gluten-free alternative is a Brazilian staple prized for its versatility.

Visit www.FlavorForecast.com for 12 more flavors to watch in 2014 and beyond.

Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch Whisky Partners With Charitybuzz To Auction Rare 1963 Whisky

Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch Whisky has partnered with charity auction website Charitybuzz to auction a rare bottle of Glenmorangie 1963. Bidding is open through December 13 at https://www.charitybuzz.com/glenmorangie1963 with proceeds to benefit the American Forests conservation organization.

Fifty bottles of this iconic single malt, the world’s first extra-matured whisky, were recently discovered in a hidden corner of one of Glenmorangie’s warehouses.This pioneering expression was first distilled in 1963, extra-matured in Spanish Oloroso Sherry casks for almost two years before being released in 1987.

The re-release celebrates Glenmorangie’s use of wood finishing in the whisky development process and will be offered in a commemorative bottle fitting of its 1960s heritage. The labels, collar and cork are made of the purest .925 solid silver. Each of the bottles is engraved with a unique number and is presented in a metal “time capsule”-style box. The box has a polished oak wood interior, and contains a luxurious booklet customized with a hand-signed note of authenticity from Dr. Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s celebrated Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky Stocks.

Commenting on the auction, Dr. Lumsden said: “The majority of the wood we use does come from the Ozark Mountains in Missouri. We take our environmental credentials very seriously and recognizing that wood is the most important factor in determining the quality of our single malt, we are very keen to ensure that our casks are sourced in a sustainable way.”

Maxime Balay, Glenmorangie Brand Director, added “Glenmorangie 1963 clearly highlights our commitment to innovation as well as our unparalleled pursuit of perfection to craft unnecessarily well-made whiskies.”

Of the 50 remaining bottles, only 20 will be available in the United States, making the charity auction with Charitybuzz of keen interest to key whisky enthusiasts.

Sartori Cheese Places in Top-15 at World Cheese Awards

LE Pastorale WhlSartori Cheese has announced that its Pastorale Blend® and Cinnamon BellaVitano® received “Super Gold” medals  at the World Cheese Awards held in the UK last week.  With over 2,700 entries from 30 countries, Sartori’s Cinnamon BellaVitano and Pastorale Blend finished in the top 15 cheeses in the world.

Sartori’s Cinnamon BellaVitano is hand-crafted with the BellaVitano Gold base cheese, a well-known base to many other Sartori BellaVitano favorites.  “Creating this cheese was a lot of fun because there were many variations to experiment with,” states Sartori Master Cheesemaker, Mike Matucheski.  “The warmth of the cinnamon and the creamy cheese always reminds me of the holidays, so it was special to hear this cheese received a Super Gold around the Thanksgiving holiday.”

LE Pastorale BlendSartori’s Limited Edition Pastorale Blend also received a Super Gold and was a top 15 contender for the world’s best cheese.  This unique cheese is a blend of cow and sheep milk.  Hand dusted with smoked Spanish paprika, it delivers a “one of a kind” sweet and nutty flavor.  “The blend of the cow and sheep milk helps to balance the cheese.  It’s very creamy and has a smoky note to it from the paprika.  We say it’s a great sheep milk cheese for those who may not appreciate the full intensity of most typical sheep milk products,” states Matucheski.  In the past five years, Sartori’s Pastorale Blend cheese has received 20 awards including two Grand Champion titles.

Five additional medals were awarded to Sartori including a gold medal for BellaVitano Gold and silver medals for Espresso BellaVitano, Merlot BellaVitano and Mediterranean Fontina.  For additional information on these award-winning varieties and all of Sartori’s cheese, visit the website, sartoricheese.com.  For daily news and information, become a fan on Facebook and follow Sartori on Twitter @Sartori_Cheese.

Spread Chocolate Cheer This Holiday Season With A Gift From Ethel M Chocolates

 This holiday season, give everyone on your list an affordable luxury experience: Ethel M® Chocolates from www.EthelM.com. These exceptional gourmet confections — made without preservatives — hold true to the recipes that Ethel Mars once made in her own kitchen in the early 1900′s. Comprised of the finest ingredients and made in small batches -– some made by hand, Ethel M® Chocolates embody the ideal holiday gift for everyone on your list, from friends and family to party hosts and business associates.

Ethel M

Who is “Ethel M” and what makes her chocolate special?  She was the matriarch of the Mars family; her husband and son –-Frank C. Mars and Forrest Mars, Sr. -– founded world-renowned Mars, Incorporated, manufacturer of iconic brands like M&M’S® Brand Candies, SNICKERS® Bar and DOVE® Chocolate. In 1981 Forrest Mars, Sr., created Ethel M® Chocolates as a tribute to his mother, who taught him the art of making chocolate.

Cyber Monday shoppers seeking the perfect gift can unwrap a special deal at www.EthelM.com. Enter the code CYBERMONDAY13 to receive a 20 percent discount, with no minimum order, plus a $5 flat rate standard shipping fee for orders of $50 or more. This code is valid during the 24 hours of Monday, Dec. 2, 2013.

“At Ethel M® Chocolates, we’re dedicated to offering uncompromising quality and unparalleled taste,” said Jessica Ruttman, Marketing Manager, Ethel M Chocolates. “This holiday season, we’ve prepared a special assortment of chocolates designed to bring tasteful good cheer to any occasion. A gift of premium chocolate offers a personal touch of luxury and never fails to please the recipient.”

Ruttman offers gift suggestions that will delight everyone on your list.

  • For girlfriends and party hosts: Say cheers to the holiday season with the new Holiday Cocktail Collection ($28). The 16 pieces include Champagne Cocktail and Mucha Margarita drenched in milk chocolate, and Lemon Drop and Chocopolitan enrobed in dark chocolate. Each piece is filled with holiday spirits combined in a crème center. Colorful retro designs atop each piece add festive fun to this gift. (Local state laws prohibit the shipment of alcoholic products directly to consumers in many states. See online ordering information for details.)
  • For business clients or hard-to-buy-for friends: Personalize a gift by including their favorite flavors inside a Design Your Own box ($37-$97). It’s simple: choose a box style, select the chocolates and place the order. From the caramel lover to the truffle fan to the Satin Cremes® connoisseur, you’ve got the holidays covered.
  • Treat yourself: Open the Holiday Deluxe Collection ($34) and start a tradition with a delicious variety of the best of Ethel M® Chocolates. Each 24-piece box includes new limited edition holiday flavors, each enrobed in rich chocolate: Peppermint Silk, Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie and Egg Nog. The collection also features creamy caramels, Almond Crunch and Satin Cremes®.
  • For that special guy on the list: The sweet and savory Classic and Chocolate-covered Pecan Brittle ($35) offers a softer crunch, thanks to a secret recipe and hand-picked pecans. Ethel M® signature brittle has a delicious buttery taste, is created with just a few ingredients and is handcrafted in small batches.
  • For moms and mother-in-laws: They will appreciate this recipe handed down for generations, as the 16-piece Satin Cremes® Collection ($28) is made with real cream and stirred by hand. The buttery fillings are flavored with fresh raspberries, vanilla, chocolate and lemon, and then drenched in premium chocolate.
  • For friends celebrating Hanukkah: The new 16-piece Kosher Hanukkah Classic Collection ($28) features buttery caramels, milk and dark Satin Cremes® and an assortment of crunchy nut pieces. Or choose the Hanukkah Collection Bundle ($45), which includes the Classic Collection adorned with a Hanukkah bow, one Hanukkah Bar Set of three delectable chocolate bars, and one bag of 22 Chocolate Gelt Coins.

Ethel M.® Chocolates are sold online at www.EthelM.com, by phone at (800) 438-4356 and in five locations throughout Las Vegas.

Mars Chocolate North America Introduces Sweet Treats for the Holidays

This holiday season, whip up a colorful chocolate wonderland with a sleighful of new seasonal treats, plus a host of returning favorites, from Mars Chocolate North America.  Whether you’re decking the halls, prepping for parties, delighting with desserts or gifting with goodies, Mars Chocolate has the holiday season all wrapped up.

“Chocolate is a quintessential part of so many family celebrations, and Mars Chocolate brands have been integral to holiday traditions for generations,” said Roy Benin, Chief Consumer Officer, Mars Chocolate North America. “Each year, we develop a wide winter holiday assortment based on valuable input from consumers. This year, we’re introducing some exciting new products and, of course, we’re bringing back our perennial classics.”

Returning favorites include candy dish essentials like festive red and green M&M’S® Brand Candies and DOVE® Brand PROMISES® Milk and Dark Chocolate Snowflakes – which are each individually wrapped in silver and blue or red and silver foil with a snowflake design embedded on top.

Here’s a sample of some new items topping the Mars holiday list for 2013:

TwixThe classic Santa Claus shape and TWIX® Brand join forces to create new TWIX® Brand Santas — available as singles and in six-packs.  These clever confections add Christmas magic as stocking stuffers or tasty on-the-go treats.

Give the bakers on your list a keepsake they’ll use every holiday season: the M&M’S® Brand Recipe Box Tin, the newest collectible from M&M’S® Brand.  With its gingerbread house theme, this tin looks good enough to eat! Inside, red and green M&M’S® Brand Candies, recipes and a cookie cutter make holiday baking a joy.

Surprise family and friends with the new M&M’S® Brand Milk Chocolate Candies for the Holidays Cane.  This year, the transparent candy cane offers a colorful view of the red and green chocolate candies inside, making it a winner for decorating, hanging on stockings, snacking and gifting.

Save time with no wrapping required!  You’ll love the new gift boxes and FUN SIZE® bags for M&M’S® Brand Candies. All decked out with the iconic M&M’S® Characters, these goodie bags and boxes feature “To/From” labels, making them instantly givable—and instantly appreciated.

Friends and family will flip their lids for the M&M’S® Brand MINIS Milk Chocolate Candies Tube.  The tubes are mighty little treats, so tuck them in stockings, share them as party favors, or enjoy them as an on-the-go treat.

Nothing says the holidays like the mouth-watering aroma of freshly baked cookies.  And nothing makes cookies merrier and brighter than the new M&M’S® Brand MINIS Milk Chocolate Candies in red and green. Recipes on the back of the bag make for easy and delicious holiday treats.

Deck the halls with bountiful bowls of chocolate, thanks to the MINIS MIXTM Chocolates for the Holidays variety bags. Showcasing cheerful illustrations of Christmas tree ornaments, each bag is filled with an assortment of family favorites -– SNICKERS®, TWIX®, 3 MUSKETEERS® and MILKY WAY® Brands. Variety bags are the definite “go-to” for holiday snacking and decorating.

‘Tis the season to make magical memories for the chocolate lovers in your life. With the sensational collection of chocolate treats from Mars, Holiday 2013 just got a whole lot brighter.

Chobani Names Dipak Golechha as Chief Financial Officer, Builds on Strong Leadership Appointments

Chobani, Inc. has named Dipak Golechha Chief Financial Officer. Golechha joins Chobani after 18 years at Procter & Gamble, where he held a variety of finance, operational and management positions, including CFO of the Global Snacks Division.

He will report directly to Hamdi Ulukaya, Chobani’s Founder and CEO, and will oversee Chobani’s financial, accounting and IT functions. He replaces James McConeghy, who stepped down from his role in November.

“Dipak’s vast leadership and management experience, combined with our shared vision for Chobani, will support our continued growth and our future plans for expansion,” said Hamdi Ulukaya. “Dipak joins a strong leadership team and will play a critical role in ensuring Chobani maintains the financial strength and flexibility it needs to build on our momentum as we prepare for an even stronger year ahead.”

Golechha added: “Chobani is a fast growing, important and highly relevant brand in the world today. I’m very excited to join a world-class team to help take the business to the next level.”

Golechha is the latest of several executive appointments in recent months and joins David Denholm, Chief Operating Officer, and Peter McGuinness, Chief Marketing and Brand Officer, on the leadership team. Chobani also recently announced some additional key appointments in core areas – Andreas Sokollek, who brings more than 24 years of operations excellence and project management experience, as Senior Vice President of Supply Chain and Operations. In October, it named Dr. Alejandro Mazzotta as Vice President of Global Quality, Food Safety, and Regulatory Affairs, bringing to the team more than two decades of leadership at global packaged goods companies.

Hickory Farms Offers New Artisanal Gifts for 2013 Holiday Season

Hickory Farms, the specialty food and holiday gift retailer recently announced the official grand opening of more than 700 Holiday Market storefronts and kiosks for the 2013 holiday season.

This year, the company introduces Hickory Farms Reserve, a new collection that will delight even the most discerning foodies. These new gifts feature artisanal Dry Salami and eight all-natural cheeses handcrafted in Wisconsin by an award-winning master cheese maker. The cheeses include Apple Smoked Cheddar with Paprika, Smoked Garlic Cheddar, Smoked Pepper Jack, Smoked Blue Cheese, Triple Creme Cheese, Classic Cheddar, 1 Year Aged Cheddar and 3 Year Aged Cheddar.

In addition, Hickory Farms has expanded its offering of wine gift baskets at hickoryfarms.com through a new partnership with Wine.com. One of these new gifts, Winter Wonderland Basket, features the perfect balance of classic, savory favorites like Hickory Farms’ gold medal-winning Signature Summer Sausage and Smoked Gouda, complemented by some of their irresistible sweets, all paired perfectly with the lively character of Parducci Small Lot Chardonnay and the full, rich flavor of Parducci Small Lot Pinot Noir.

Shoppers at Hickory Farms’ Holiday Markets will be hard-pressed to resist new dessert and snack offerings that are sure to make the season even sweeter. Selections include mouthwatering Peanut Brittle Popcorn with Chocolaty Drizzle, Lemon Shortbread cookies, and Snowflake Pretzels.

“Hickory Farms has been a family favorite for over 60 years, and we’re excited to bring an even broader array of delicious options to market this year,” said Mark S. Rodriguez, the company’s CEO.

Customers can find Hickory Farms’ award-winning sausage, cheese and other specialty items at their holiday stores in the U.S. and Canada, online at www.hickoryfarms.com, in catalogs, and at leading retailers throughout the season.

Safeway Announces Sale of 11 Dominick’s Stores

Safeway Inc. has announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell 11 of its Dominick’s stores in the Chicago metropolitan area in a cash and lease assumption transaction to Roundy’s, Inc.  Roundy’s will take possession of the stores during a transition period that will take place over the next two months.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. The eleven stores are:

  • Park Ridge: 1900 S. Cumberland Ave.
  • Western Springs: No. 14 Garden Market St.
  • Chicago: 3145 S. Ashland Ave.
  • Chicago: 2021 W. Chicago Ave.
  • Northfield: 1822 Willow Rd.
  • Westchester: 3020 S. Wolf Rd.
  • Buffalo Grove: 450 Half Day Rd.
  • Chicago: 5201 N. Sheridan Rd.
  • Gurnee: 6655 Grand Ave.
  • Aurora: 3025 E. New York St.
  • Shorewood: 950 Brook Forest Ave.

Earlier this year, Safeway announced its decision to exit the Chicago market and focus its efforts in other operating areas where its business is stronger. The company continues to be actively engaged in a process to identify purchasers for its remaining stores in the Chicago market, and make announcements as and when pending deals are finalized.  Safeway previously announced the sale of four stores in the greater Chicago area to New Albertsons, Inc., which operates Jewel-Osco grocery stores.

Teatulia’s Newest Fine Cut Jasmine Green Tea Given Honor at North American Tea Championship

 Teatulia Organic Teas has earned third place at the North American Tea Championship in the 2013 Packaged Single-Service Tea Class for its fine cut Jasmine Green Tea. This win marks Teatulia’s fourth recognition as North American Tea Champions.

The Championship is the only independent competition, judged by tea professionals, to distinguish the highest quality and best tasting teas commercially available in the North American marketplace. The Packaged Single-Service Tea Class is evaluated once a year, and every submission is cupped blind and rated by flavor, body, color, clarity and balance. An overall numerical value on a 100‐point scale is calculated to get the winning teas. The results allow producers to understand how their tea compares to others through impartial judging by industry professionals, something that aids tremendously in marketing, operations and product development.

“We are excited to have received such an honor for our brand new Jasmine Green Tea,” says Co-founder and CEO of Teatulia,Linda Lipsius. “Our colleagues in the tea industry have once again recognized Teatulia’s dedication to producing superior tasting, ethically grown teas.”

The Jasmine Green Tea is blend of organic green tea and organic jasmine. It is a mild and refreshing tea, and the delicate floral notes give it a smooth, sweet finish.

Teatulia’s exclusive line of fine cut teas was created so, high-quality, organic tea could be affordable to every household. Along with the award winning Jasmine Green Tea, the fine cut line also includes Earl Grey, Teatulia Black, Teatulia Green, and Lemongrass Herbal Infusion. Currently sold at Target Stores.